If you can afford it

If you can afford it

What is the global welfare index?

The Global Liveability Index (GLI) is a measure used to rate and rank the quality of life in cities around the world, published annually by Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU). Using surveys, it determines the suitability of a city for an individual using a complex weighted score system to provide each city with a rating from 1-100, where 1 is considered unlikely and 100 is considered ideal.

in EIU Recently published results Vienna gave a score of 98.4, making it 1 out of 173 rated cities. The average score in 2023 was 76.2, the highest score in 15 years and a 3-point increase from the previous year, due in large part to the easing of Covid-19 restrictions. The coronavirus outbreak and its regulation have been closely associated with lower scores over the past few years, but the bottom 10 still mainly consists of cities experiencing ongoing social unrest, terrorism and conflict (such as Tripoli, Kiev or Damascus, which had the lowest score – 30.7)

EIU is a sister organization to The Economist It is a private international economic analysis group that provides reports for global companies.

While their summary results are available at White papers Online access to the data set and actual information on how each purchasing factor is estimated requires one of our semi-annual report packages ranging from 810 bucks To get an overview $10,995 for full access.

It’s important to remember that this is essentially an index – a report intended to help generate revenue for the EIU and be used by its clients as possible tools for investments – the index isn’t actually geared toward most people, and a high rating may not mean what you think it does.

So what is GLI for that?

The index is more useful to large companies and investors than most people, and this is evident in the data points that are taken into account and prioritized.

For example, while the index measures the quality of public transportation and available housing, it does not measure affordability—a sticky point for many who cannot afford to live in a city and may choose the suburbs instead. In general, citizens may also be more concerned about the walkability of the city, the number of bike paths or how close to the city center they can live, whether a school in their area will make room for their children and so on.

Similarly, the index also helps companies calculate how much “hardship allowanceThey will need to pay the salaries of employees who relocate as part of expatriate relocation packages. The concept of Hardship Allowance is to identify the employee’s lifestyle challenges in each city to allow direct comparison between locations, and a proportional increase in their salary based on their level of inconvenience. Attributing a number to comfort or lack thereof requires making a difficult value judgment on subjective experiences.


Table showing EIU’s proposed suitability for living measure that recommends the amount of “hardship allowance” a company should pay its employees relative to other locations, as described in the 2023 Online White Paper.

What is being measured?

The ratings are assigned based on about 30 qualitative and quantitative factors across five broad weighted categories: stability, (25%) healthcare, (20%) culture and environment, (25%) education, (10%) and infrastructure (20%). Factors change slightly year over year (eg new factors have been added to account for Covid).

Each factor is classified as tolerable, tolerable, uncomfortable, undesirable, or intolerable. Qualitative factors are rated by EIU analysts and contributors within the city.


Category weighting of the EIU’s Fitness to Life score as presented in the 2023 online white paper.

Should we measure livability?

If we were simply interested in where people are happy, we might consider World Happiness Reportbut EIU’s GLI seeks to separate the culture of the variables so much from the location’s suitability for happiness that it may not be helpful for people who live in a place long enough to become immersed in it and affected by its culture.

This is not to say that the project of measuring and ranking “livability” is pointless. While the GLI as a whole may not be useful to the public in the way its name suggests, the less subjective factors you compare (such as the quality of connections or roads, or the prevalence of crime) are useful to be able to compare, and accessing information about how your city compares to others enables you to be held accountable. your government.

We can leave it to sociologists and economists to argue about how to balance the livability factors, but there is general agreement that Basic components of livable societies It is environmental sustainability. people feel safe and socially integrated; and access to affordable and diverse housing, transportation, education, and outdoor leisure time. DM


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